Barrel council district candidates are similar to that of Cholla district candidates. Some are articulate and exhibit varying degrees of intelligence. Some are passionate and believe that they want to be part of the solution with regard to Glendale’s financial difficulties. I congratulate them for their willingness to put themselves before the voters to be weighed and measured on the issues of the day. Choices among the 5 candidates will be based on the information publicly available to date that was used in the previous blogs about each candidate.

John Benjamin filed a No Activity Campaign Finance Report. Michael Patino has one contribution of $200 and has no expenditures. Reginald Martinez raised a little over $1,000 and the bulk of his expenses were for printing and refreshments for volunteers who gathered his petition signatures. Bart Turner and Randy Miller have received a few individual contributions. Randy Miller is self funded to date. All have done minimal fund raising. It is surprising that none of the candidates appears to be reaching out to their constituency for campaign support to date. It just may be that candidates prefer to reveal their contributors in later Finance Reports as a means of keeping that information from their opponents.

It is extremely difficult for the voter to determine how each Barrel candidate stands on a particular issue. Benjamin, Martinez and Patino have no websites. While each candidate may have developed campaign literature that they pass out or mail to the voters, it is just that, voter specific, and may not reach the entire Barrel district voter universe. Turner has a website but there is no publicly available information offered on his positions on Glendale’s issues. Miller has the most robust website and clearly takes a stand on Glendale’s finances. He regularly attends city council meetings and uses the public comment period to discuss issues such as the debt and the sales tax sunset.

Miller acknowledges that Glendale has financial problems and he supports the sunset of the sales tax increase in 2017. He offers several strategies for the reduction of Glendale’s debt including a thorough assessment of Glendale’s O&M costs.  None of the other Barrel candidates have publicly available material that would indicate their positions.

All have lived in the Barrel district for a minimum of 4 years and some have lived in Glendale for far longer but not in the Barrel district. Miller and Turner are self employed and that does provide them the flexibility they need to fulfill a councimember’s responsibilities. The others appear to have regular job commitments that could make it difficult to attend to councilmember meetings and duties.

Only Turner has served on Glendale’s boards and commissions but that may not play in his favor. His interaction with staff may make him more sympathetic to the current staff agenda. Miller recognizes that the relationship between staff and council is broken and seeks more staff openness. He has already demonstrated his willingness to “do his homework” on the issues and to ask meaningful questions.

The candidate picks for the Barrel district are in stark contrast to one another in terms of philosophies of governance. Those voters who are supportive of the status quo should look to Turner. Those voters who are supportive of change and realistic alternative solutions should consider Miller.

It seems safe to assume that with 5 candidates no one will take the Barrel councilmember seat out right in the Primary Election. The two top candidates will face off in the General Election in November. It is not an easy decision for any voter but based upon information publicly available to everyone, this writer’s picks for the Barrel district are:

           John Benjamin

           Reginald Martinez

   checkmark__bottomheavy_140  Randy Miller

           Michael Patino

  checkmark__bottomheavy_140    Bart Turner

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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